In the absence of being able to turn my grubby pages spring-fresh and snow-white, the beginning of a new year does just as well. It works like magic. One day, malingering on the tail-end of a crumpled up year, and the very next, standing bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the crest of a clear blue wave. A sparkle glinting off a too-big smile.
standing bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the crest of a clear blue wave
I spent last year trying to carve out the perfect writing hole, amidst the domestic chaos of home. First upstairs, cast two steps from the bed, perched upright on an ebay purchased postural stool. Then downstairs, stacked amongst the washing, in full view of the kitchen sink.
Oh how I craved the solitude of Roald Dahl's garden shed, Dylan Thomas' Shepherd's hut (you can see this in the photo) or J K Rowling's snug café corner. Surely if I had such a place, I would write like a dream. People (most importantly me) would have to take my writing seriously.
Oh how I craved the solitude of Roald Dahl's garden shed
At home, the opportunities for extensive procrastination lay all around me. I succumbed. I couldn't help it. There was always something else calling louder than my words. Essentially, the other parts of me: mother, partner, tv-watcher, snack-eater. I am decidedly not one of those lucky creatives who can block out the world. I have guilt enough at calling myself a writer, let alone fessing up to the intention of spending most of my day writing.
I am decidedly not one of those lucky creatives who can block out the world
So I have thrown myself out of the house. I have commandeered a space at the very top of some stairs, in the hallway of a 'proper' office. I can walk out of my front door in the morning and leave all the other me's behind. There is a window with a picturesque view, and the occasional passing of other occupants. No excuses. Nothing but the writerly-me. Oh crumbs.
Nancy Saunders is gradually stepping in as the new Editor of W&P, with a generous helping hand from Jan. You can find some of her short stories here, and on Twitter @nancyesaunders